Your Ultimate Guide to Boston’s Seasonal Beer Gardens
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Despite a dreary start to spring and some beer garden backlash, we have a sunny outlook on Greater Boston’s outdoor drinking scene in 2019. That’s because more than 10 beer and wine gardens have already confirmed plans to regularly set up around the city at some point this spring, summer, and fall, beginning in early May. (As with all things outdoors in Boston, these are weather-dependent.) From public parks along the Charles River, to historic gardens of the North Shore, to the urban jungle of the Seaport, here’s where to find outdoor beer gardens around Boston.
We’ll keep this guide updated as craft beverage-makers announce and start their seasons; it was most recently published on Tuesday, May 21.
Greater Boston’s original beer garden returns for its fourth season in Lower Allston in mid-May. Three nights per week, the Somerville-based Aeronaut Brewing Co. crew descends on Zone 3 with local beers, food trucks, and an impressive live music lineup and other cultural programming. Highlights this season are cool local touring acts, like Vermont soul band Kat Wright headlining the official launch party; and a monthly live variety show presented in conjunction with the PRX Podcast Garage. Returning festivities include bike nights, queer community meet-ups, a Hamilton singalong on July 4, and an August beach party. Plus, you can bring your pup and get your portrait on the “Wall of Woof.” Check out the full calendar here, and get grooving to the music with this handy Spotify playlist from the fine folks in charge. The parties begin Wednesday, May 15.
For the second year in a row, a family-friendly beer garden with live music is taking over Whittemore Park every Saturday afternoon. On the lawn in front of the Cyrus Dallin Art Museum in Arlington Center, the Somerville beer-makers set up with an ever-changing lineup of brews and cider, local food, community partners, and free music sets from 1-3 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. each week.
June 1-mid-September, Saturdays noon-7 p.m., 611 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, Facebook.
Boston Landing Beer Garden
The new development in Brighton that’s home to New Balance, the Bruins and Celtics practice facilities, and a growing lineup of food and drink options is launching an inaugural summertime series of family-friendly events, including a weekly farmers market (Tuesdays, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. from June 11-Sept. 24), monthly movie nights, Friday lunch parties, and of course, an monthly outdoor beer garden. Select Thursday evenings, stop by for a post-work beer from a rotating selection of local breweries; Braintree’s Widowmaker Brewing Co. starts things off on May 23. Plus: Weymouth’s Barrel House Z is kicking off the seasonal events series with a beer tent pop-up during the Boston Landing Block Party on Saturday, May 18.
Thursdays, May 23, June 20, July 25, and August 22, 4-7 p.m., Athletes Park, Guest Street, Brighton, bostonlandingdevelopment.com.
Boston Public Market
Stay tuned for information about an outdoor beer garden in 2019, like last summer’s Bites + Brews pop-ups on the patio overlooking the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Inside the market, meanwhile, local breweries set up shop every Saturday and Sunday afternoon, selling cans of beer while you shop. In May, find Newburyport’s Riverwalk Brewing in the house; a to-be-announced vendor is on deck for June.
Ongoing Saturdays + Sundays, noon-6 p.m., 100 Hanover St., Boston, bostonpublicmarket.org.
Brewer’s Alley at Boston Harbor Hotel
The Boston Harbor Hotel is launching a new, seasonal beer garden, called Brewer’s Alley, featuring month-long pop-ups from New England breweries. Located on a waterfront deck outside the Rowes Wharf Bar, it kicks off May 23 with Devil’s Purse Brewing Co. of Cape Cod, and continues every day through October, with residencies by Jack’s Abby (June 20-July 17), Night Shift (July 18-August 21), and Lord Hobo (August 22-September 25). For the last month (Sept. 26-October 26), eight breweries will be featured in an Oktoberfest-themed lineup. A ticketed event with each brewery will start things off each month, followed by regular service every day.
May 23-October 26, Monday-Friday 2-10 p.m., Saturdays noon-10 p.m., Sundays noon-8 p.m., Boston Harbor Hotel, 70 Rowes Wharf, Boston, 617-439-7000, bhh.com.
Nantucket’s favorite brewery is once again setting up shop in the Boston Seaport—with twice as much space as its inaugural season. Open six days a week from May 14 through mid-October, the dog-friendly beer garden will have room for about 1,000 people, and three separate drink-ordering stations: a craft beer bar featuring classics like Whale’s Tale Pale Ale alongside new, Portsmouth-brewed experimental beers like Crantucket Brut IPA; a draft beer trailer; and a wine bar (plus wine-based cocktails) from sister brand Nantucket Vineyard. Loco Taqueria is joining forces again with tacos and a raw bar, and this year will include additional food options from Luke’s Lobster and Flatbread Brighton. The site has a stage for live music, lawn games, and charity programming planned.
May 14-mid-October, Tuesday-Friday 4-11 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays (and holidays) noon-11 p.m., 65 Northern Ave. (just west of District Hall), Boston, ciscobrewers.com.
City Winery on the Greenway
It’s not all about beer this summer: City Winery is behind the city’s first dedicated open-air wine bar at Dewey Square on the Rose Kennedy Greenway, close to South Station, beginning Wednesday, May 1. With a selection of Boston-made wines on tap, along with beers and cider from Harpoon Brewery, and soft drinks, the al fresco wine bar is poised to be a go-to happy hour spot. It serves snacks like cheese and charcuterie spreads, hummus, burrata, and more, and will host free live music throughout the season.
May 1-October, Wednesdays + Fridays 3:30-10 p.m., Saturdays 1-9 p.m., Sundays 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Dewey Square Park Plaza, 600 Atlantic Ave., Boston, 617-933-8434, rosekennedygreenway.org, citywinery.com.
Gentile Brewing Company at Hale Farm
The north-of-Boston City of Beverly is getting its first weekly summer beer garden, thanks to a partnership between its hometown brewing company and Historic Beverly. Every Saturday from June through mid-September, Paul and Christen Gentile are bringing the family- and dog-friendly atmosphere of their taproom to the historic Hale Farm. Enjoy full pints of their clean, fresh beers, and bring a picnic to share on the grassy lawn of the house where 17th century pastor John Hale wrote A Modest Inquiry Into the Nature of Witchcraft. One dollar per pint goes back to the host, all season long. Parking in the residential neighborhood is limited—but it’s a quaint, easy, half-mile walk from downtown Beverly and its Commuter Rail station.
June 1-September 16, Saturdays 2-6 p.m., Hale Farm, 39 Hale St., Beverly, gentilebrewing.com.
Night Shift Owl’s Nest: Esplanade
This Charles River-adjacent beer garden officially takes flight again on Saturday, May 11. The “Owl’s Nest” is headed back to Fiedler Field on the Esplanade, near the Hatch Shell—right here, to be exact. But this year, Night Shift is working with the Department of Conservation and Recreation to expand the beer garden footprint (and capacity) once the season really ramps up, says Night Shift cofounder Michael Oxton. Besides a larger location, the Esplanade Owl’s Nests will feature more small-batch beers from the Everett and Lovejoy Wharf breweries, as well as more integrated tap takeovers by Night Shift Distributing partner brands. The beer garden is dog- and family-friendly, with non-alcoholic drink options, games to play, and regular food truck offerings, too. Bonus: A portion of every beer sold goes back to DCR and the Esplanade Association.
May 8-October, Wednesday + Thursday 4-10 p.m., Friday + Saturday noon-10 p.m., Sundays noon-8 p.m., Fiedler Field, Charles River Esplanade, Boston, nightshiftfamily.com.
Night Shift Owl’s Nest: Herter Park, Allston
The Lower Allston Owl’s Nest officially opens for the season on Saturday, May 11, in a more accessible location. Still at Herter Park, right off of Soldiers Field Road, the beer garden is situated closer to a public parking lot this season, and is also closer to the restored amphitheater. That gives the Night Shift crew more opportunities to collaborate with local arts organizations, says cofounder Michael Oxton—stay tuned on social media for cool programming details. Otherwise, expect a range of small-batch beers from the Everett and Lovejoy Wharf breweries, as well as more integrated tap takeovers by Night Shift Distributing partner brands. The beer garden is dog- and family-friendly, with non-alcoholic drink options, games to play, and regular food truck offerings, too. Bonus: A portion of every beer sold goes back to DCR and the Esplanade Association.
May 9-October, Thursday + Friday 4-10 p.m., Saturdays noon-10 p.m., Sundays noon-8 p.m., Herter Park, 1175 Soldiers Field Rd., Allston, nightshiftfamily.com.
90+ Cellars Rosé & Bubbly Wine Truck
Boston-based négociant 90+ Cellars is rolling into summer with a brand-new mobile wine bar. Launching in early June, it will pop up across the state at food truck festivals, retail stores, music festivals, and more events. Essentially a wine-garden-on-wheels, it’s equipped with café lights, wine barrel-tables and picnic tables, and even some green turf and a corn hole set to complete the scene. From a welcoming walk-up window, wine fans can order rosé, sparkling wines, and select whites and reds from 90+ Cellars’ robust portfolio. Many dates are free to attend (with wine purchased on-site), while a select few events will require tickets. Check out the full lineup here.
Ongoing various dates, times, and locations from early June-Fall, ninetypluscellars.com.
Notch Mobile Biergarten
Salem’s Notch Brewing is again partnering with the Trustees of Reservations to bring a European-style biergarten to the conservation group’s scenic parks, gardens, and cultural sites around Greater Boston. But this year Notch is also taking its show on the road with monthly Central Food Fests in Cambridge; monthly appearances at the Ironbound Lynn Marketplace; and a Sunday and Wednesday residency under the tent on the marsh at Woodman’s in Essex. It will also pop up at events like the Taza Chocolate Block Party on Saturday, May 4. All told, there are nearly 80 Notch Mobile Biergarten events on the calendar from late April through the fall. Each pop-up biergarten is unique, but all will feature sessionable beers by the half-liter, as well as Voll Projekt brews, and a family-friendly atmosphere.
Ongoing various dates, times, and locations from late April-Fall, notchbrewing.com.
Saturdays in the Park
For six consecutive Saturdays this summer, Quincy’s Safford Park is hosting the Tapped Beer Truck for a family-friendly fest complete with local brews and food, live entertainment, yoga and wellness activities, games, and more. The grassy expanse is just steps away from the Red Line in Wollaston.
Saturdays, June 29, July 6, July 13, July 20, July 27, and August 31, noon-6 p.m., 166 Beale St., Quincy, wollastonhill.com.
SoWa Open Market Beer Garden
The historic Power Station that hosted last year’s “beer barn” is currently under construction, as SoWa developer GTI Properties is upgrading it into a full-time events space. But the South End’s Sunday marketplace will not be without beer: Some of the region’s best breweries are taking over outdoor taps near the food truck parking lot. The rotating lineup kicks things off with Fiddlehead Brewing, pouring its Second Fiddle double IPA, Rarefied Air pale ale, Fiddlehead Mexican Lager, and more exclusive brews on May 12, along with a special Mother’s Day rosé pop-up by the Urban Grape. Proclamation Ale Company is setting up on May 19; Finback moves in on May 26; Singlecut will be in residency for the whole month of June; Four Quarters arrives on July 7; and additional summertime breweries will be announced before Schilling Beer Company returns for the annual SoWa Oktoberfest party. Expect live music, lawn games, and more family-friendly entertainment each week throughout the season, plus more than a dozen food truck options. It all happens adjacent to the vibrant vendors set up around the neighborhood’s backdrop of artist studios, galleries, boutiques, and vintage shops.
May 12-October 27, Sundays 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 450-540 Harrison Ave, Boston, sowaboston.com.
Trillium Garden on the Greenway
With City Winery on the Greenway making its debut and the waterfront Brewer’s Alley launching across the street from the park (see above for more on both), this side of downtown has become a beer garden epicenter. And back for its third season is this summer-long, pop-up beer garden from Trillium Brewing Company, whose rapid expansion into nearby Fort Point and beyond ensures that the beer lineup will be bigger and better than ever. Beginning Thursday, May 16, look forward to new draft offerings, like summer-friendly lagers and rotating “Fresh Press” wild ale-shandies, in flavors like cucumber-pear and strawberry-watermelon. There will be a selection of hoppy ales, New England IPAs, farmhouse styles, dark beers, and sours, too, plus options from Westport Rivers Winery on tap. The family- and dog-friendly garden has beer hall-style benches and tables and repurposed barrels to stand around, and typically a food truck or two parked nearby.
May 16-October, Wednesday-Friday 2-10 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sundays noon-6 p.m., corner of High Street and Atlantic Avenue, Rose Kennedy Greenway, rosekennedygreenway.org, trilliumbrewing.com.
Wachusett Brew Yard
The Patios, a cluster of pop-up-friendly places to hang, are headed back to City Hall Plaza for the season beginning Saturday, May 4 (an original opening date earlier in the week has been pushed back because of rain in the forecast.) Popular offerings from its first year will return, including weekly visits from adoptable puppies and the Wachusett Brew Yard beer garden. But you’ll also find exciting upgrades like weekly appearances by the Boston Public Market; Sunday grilling stations; and more. From a vintage Airstream trailer, Westminster brewery Wachusett is serving up pints of its popular Blueberry wheat ale, Wally New England IPAs, and a half-dozen other beers, plus other Wachusett-owned brands like a margarita-inspired sour beer, Fifty Trees Hard Cider, and Nauti Seltzer. The Brew Yard is open every day with different food trucks and special events going on at the Patios all season long.
May 4-mid-October, Monday-Wednesday 4-9 p.m., Thursday 4-10 p.m., Friday + Saturday noon-10 p.m., Sundays noon-9 p.m., Faneuil Hall Overlook Area at City Hall Plaza, 1 City Hall Square, Boston, cityhallplazaboston.com.